Patapon - PSP Review
|25/2/2008||Sony||Sony||Pyramid / Interlink|
Patapon is a unique title, but it's quite easy to see it being overlooked as a simplisic cartoony title. That would be a mistake as this rhythm action game is very entertaining, and quite engrossing. It's one of those gems that will be regarded for years to come.
|patapon is played from an isometric viewpoint.|
The storyline for Patapon is as follows... For years the Patapon tribe has lived in the desolate frontier, driven from their home by the evil Zigoton army. Behind the Patapons' cute exterior, lies a fierce warrior spirit that can only be commanded by the beat of their Godís war drum. They wait for the day that the "Almighty" will return, to lead them against their enemies and bring them back to their homeland. Finally, their wait has come to an end as the drums of war are heard once again.
Split across 30-odd missions, the gameplay behind Patapon is basic to say the least. At its simplest level you goal is to chant and hit the combos in time with the beat of the drums. These can be chained together, possibly up to the entire length of the level, in order to defeat foes or hunt beasts. Of course it is a bit complicated then that...
|Running around the subway.|
As you progress through the levels new weapons and items become unlocked, selecting the correct type can mean success or failure in each of the levels. There are six different drumbeats to master in total, each of which has a different result - march, attack, defend, power up, retreat, and use magic.
As you progress through the game you will unlock one hundred different items such as new weapons or magic, and herein lies the strategic element of this game. Prior to each mission you will need to equip your army with the correct items to take on the upcoming enemies. As well as the main game the developers have included five mini-games which allow you to unlock bonuses items and upgrades. While not the longest game we've seen on the PSP this is certainly a game which delivers plenty of replay value as you find the most efficient way to complete the levels.
|Looks good, doesn't play as well.|
There really aren't any major disappointments with Patapon at all. Indeed it is entertaining, perfectly suited for short gameplay stints and a showcase for the PSP. But there are a couple of things that could have pushed this title up a little higher. The developers have taken the strange decision not to put in a pause button when you're in the middle of a combo/level which given the number of damn telemarketing calls can be quite annoying.
|Oh No! There's giant crabs in the game!|
I also felt that the developers missed an opportunity by not including any multi-player options. It would have been great to have two teams battling it out over wireless. Perhaps next time...
As you have seen from the surrounding screenshots Patapon uses a gorgeous graphical style with bold colours, massive enemies and great level design. Indeed the closest title visually is probably Sony's own LocoRoco - although the gameplay is quite different and the graphics in Patapon seem to be taken up a couple of notches from Sony Japan's blobby effort. What you can't see from static screenshots around this preview is the great animation and solid frame rate throughout the game.
|Another impressive screenshot from Patapon.|
As with any rhythm game the audio plays a crucial part in making everything gel together and the great news is that on that count Patapon is impressive. The music is catchy, the effects are fantastic. Overall this is a fantastic effort sonically.
|Plenty of stats, but its not too confusing.|
What a great couple of weeks it has been for the Playstation Portable. Not only have we seen the brilliant shooter SOCOM: Tactical Strike and the stunning God of War: Chains of Olympus but we are now presented with one of the most original, entertaining and engrossing rhythm action games ever seen. If you don't have a PSP yet then there is probably no better time to jump on board. Patapon is a delight.
Review By: Dave WarnerOrder your copy now from Gameswarehouse.
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|GRAPHICS||Great artistic style, bold colouring and some great characters with solid animation makes this a winner graphically.||87%|
|SOUND||Music and effects are essential to the gameplay in this title, and they are superb.||90%|
|GAMEPLAY||Sure, it's a rhythm action title, but it is engrossing and very entertaining from start to end.||89%|
|VALUE||No multi-player but plenty to play through, and also unlock.||80%|
|OVERALL||Patapon is one of those uniquely fresh titles that will never sell as well as it deserves. If you have a PSP you really should check this entertaining title out.||86%|